I traveled last month to the Agok/ Abyei area (on the frontline of the North-South border). Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Abyei area got special status (because it was basically an unresolvable issue at the time). As soon as I landed I saw that the area felt distinctly different from other places that I have been in Sudan. The tension was palpable and there was talk from everyone in the town that people were just waiting for the other side to make the first move for the fighting to break out. Soldiers had moved their families out of the town, which is never a good sign... Then last week fighting erupted in Abyei destroying the town and displacing some 10's of thousands of people. NGO's (including my colleagues) were evacuated from the area leaving with nothing but what they had with them at the time they heard the first gunshots. The fighting here is especially worrying because of the importance of the area (OIL!, and their still as yet unresolved status under the CPA).
Enough! recently wrote a good factpiece about the importance of Abyei in ensuring that the CPA is implemented:
The BBC recently covered the story much better than I can:
Or watch the video coverage by Al Jazeera: